Russia has one of the fastest rising rates of HIV among women in the world. This study sought to identify key factors in HIV transmission among women in Russia. Data were collected as part of a larger clinical trial to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies (AEP). Women at risk for an AEP were recruited at women’s clinics; 708 women, aged 18-44 (M = 29.04 years), completed HIV risk surveys. Structural Equation Modeling was used to test the relationships between alcohol use and sex behavior constructs with HIV/STI risk. While the model indicated that multiple factors are involved in women’s HIV/STI risk, the independent alcohol use variable explains 20 % of the variance in women’s HIV/STI risk. The findings suggest that alcohol use directly and indirectly predicts HIV/STI risk among women, and its effect is mediated by alcohol use before sex.
Alcohol and HIV Risk Among Russian Women of Childbearing Age.